Tuesday, April 25, 2017

9 Things I Learned at the Happy Fun Time Place!

We recently had a birthday party for our seven year-old at the Happy Fun Time Place (not it's real name.) He chose the venue. (Personally I would have been fine with taking everyone to the library and having them sit quietly and read for a couple of hours, but nobody asked me.)

The Happy Fun Time Place has everything a seven year-old could want: a skating area, a track for riding scooters, bouncy houses, bouncy slides, bouncy obstacle courses, a jungle playground, rides, video games, arcade games, pizza, and (just in case the kids weren't hyper enough already) soda pop.
Slip-sliding away.

After spending a few hours at the Happy Fun Time Place, I learned a few things. Such as:

1. There are a lot of children in this world, and most of them will be at the Happy Fun Time Place on a Saturday afternoon. (Sooooo many kids!!!)

2. Other people's kids pay absolutely no attention to adults. Kids will walk into you, run into you, push you, step on your feet, crowd in front of you, and generally ignore you. Adults will not be an impediment to having a fun time at the Happy Fun Time Place!

3. Your own kids will pay no attention to you, either. (Unless they are out of tokens to play the arcade games.)

4. When you start you will think, "We have so many tokens, there is no way we will ever use them all." Forty-five minutes later you will think, "Is this the last token? I thought we had more tokens."

5. There will probably be one kid who will go to the top of a really tall slide, then get scared, freak out, and cause a big scene about not wanting to go down the really tall slide. After fifteen minutes of begging, bargaining, threats, and lots of tears, the kid will finally go down the slide...and then immediately climb back up to the top and go back down another seventeen times.

6. There will always be that one parent who thinks he is still a kid and will skate a little too hard, or bounce a little too bouncy, or be a little too competitive at the air hockey table. Someone will end up crying. (Either a kid when he hurts them, or him when he loses at air hockey.) (It'll be an angry cry. Watch out, he might throw something!)

7. At some point, the kids will become obsessed with getting as many tickets as possible so they can get prizes. (Some of the arcade games spit out tickets if you do particularly well at them.)

And you thought redemption was just a topic for Sunday School lessons.
8. No matter how many tickets the kids accumulate, they will be disappointed by the prizes available to them. (In fact, they'll probably be about ten tickets short of getting the toy that they really, really want.)

9. The ultimate goal of the day should be that when they leave, the kids have smiles on their faces; and that when you leave you still have at least a portion of your sanity. If you can meet these small goals, your time at the Happy Fun Time Place has been a success.

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